Jonathan Mussington, Costs Lawyer, Bolt Burdon Kemp
Jonathan discusses his career in costs law
Like many others, I fell into the world of costs, knowing little about costs litigation, as costs was not highlighted in the same way as other areas in Law.
I began my career in costs in January 2013 working for Kain Knight, one of the largest independent costs providers in the UK. This was an interesting time to enter costs, as the Jackson reforms were due to come into force and practitioners across the county were coming to grips with the new changes, including the introduction of Costs Budgets. In addition, changes were also being made to the fixed recoverable costs regime, which were to become effective from July 2013.
Initially, I dealt with Fast Track matters (predominantly EL’s/PL’s and RTA’s), where costs being claimed were relatively small. As such, bills could be drafted and negotiated swifty, with very few reaching Provisional Assessment. However, once the Jackson reforms started to take shape, it was clear that they had added further layers of complexity to litigation.
After five years at Kain Knight, I joined Bolt Burdon Kemp (BBK) in May 2013, a firm which specialises in serious personal injury and clinical negligence claims. I began working at BBK shortly after the introduction of the Precedent S (Electronic Bill of Costs). As such, everyone in costs had to learn a new way of preparing bills, with many having to brush up on their MS Excel skills.
After 10 years of practising costs litigation, I continue to prepare and negotiate bills, as well as preparing Points of Reply and Costs Budget. However, I also attend CMC hearings prepare Application Notices in respect of payment on account requests and advise fee earners on various costs issues. Being able to advocate at hearings is something I am proud of and highlights the trust that BBK have afforded me.
I qualified as a Costs Lawyer in January 2023 and obtained valuable information through the ACL course, especially in respect of areas of costs which I do not practice regularly.
I would recommend the course to anyone with an interest in costs litigation, especially those who have been practising for many years; however remain unqualified. I initially had reservations in respect of enrolling on the course and whether I would have the time to commit to the level of learning required; however the course structure allows for a good amount of time to study, whilst continuing to work full time.
Added September 2023